Movin On Up

MakerBot Picks Up Stakes and Heads for Downtown Brooklyn

Is this part of a tech bloom for downtown Brooklyn? Or will companies just keep cramming into Dumbo?
3296171316 be85e8ab35 MakerBot Picks Up Stakes and Heads for Downtown Brooklyn

Downtown Brooklyn. (flickr.com/jaywphotos)

One Metrotech’s name is now a little more apropos: 3-D printer-maker MakerBot is relocating from Boerum Hill to take over the building’s entire 21st floor, confirms  the Wall Street Journal. “We’re going to put the tech in Metrotech, literally,” said Bre Pettis. (Get it?)

As the article points out, downtown Brooklyn is currently being heralded as one point of the borough’s “tech triangle” (the others being Dumbo and the Brooklyn Navy Yard). But that name involves just a tiiiny bit of wishful thinking at the moment. MakerBot, for example, is One Metrotech’s first tech tenant, and it’ll take a while for NYU’s 370 Jay Street tech campus to get up and running. And officials are pretty upfront about the fact that the area lacks a certain something at the moment: 

Tucker Reed, president of the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, the local development corporation, said the area still needs to add amenities to catch up with competing neighborhoods. “Dumbo has charming cobblestoned streets and views of the city and the waterfront. There’s a real sense of place around that neighborhood. We’re working to create more public space and improve pedestrian access” in Downtown Brooklyn, he said.

Of course, DUMBO’s now-minuscule vacancy rate surely changes the calculus a bit. It doesn’t matter how nice a neighborhood is if there’s no room at the inn.

Frankly, we’re most alarmed by the decision to exclude Isaac Asimov’s three laws of robotics from MakerBot’s new lease. What are they planning?

Follow Kelly Faircloth on Twitter or via RSS. kfaircloth@observer.com